The unethical and illegal things programmers have been asked to do.

Programmers are having a huge discussion about the unethical and illegal things they’ve been asked to do

http://www.businessinsider.com/programmers-confess-unethical-illegal-tasks-asked-of-them-2016-11

Software developers ‘kill people’ Martin argues in that talk that software developers better figure out how to self-regulate themselves and fast.

His point is that in today’s world, everything we do like buying things, making a phone call, driving cars, flying in planes, involves software. And dozens of people have already been killed by faulty software in cars, while hundreds of people have been killed from faulty software during air travel.

“We are killing people,” Martin says. “We did not get into this business to kill people. And this is only getting worse.”

He pointed out that “there are hints” that developers will increasingly face some real heat in the years to come. He cited Volkswagen America’s CEO, Michael Horn, who at first
blamed software engineers for the company’s emissions cheating scandal during a Congressional hearing, claimed the coders had acted on their own “for whatever reason.”

Horn later resigned after US prosecutors accused the company of making this decision at the highest levels and then trying to cover it up.

But Martin pointed out, “The weird thing is, it was software developers who wrote that code. It was us. Some programmers wrote cheating code.  Do you think they knew? I think they probably knew.”

“Code I’m Still Ashamed Of.” written by programmer and teacher Bill Sourour

Posted in NetHappenings

National Power: Political Power – What is It?

POWER

Political power affects lives. It affects your life every day, in the quality of your subway ride, in the cleanliness of your streets, in the access you have to parks. That’s political power. People may not think of it as political power, they may think of it only when a snowstorm comes. But it is there in every aspect of their life.

The Take Away: The Importance and the Dignity of the Individual

THE investigation of power – political power.

Analyzing power structures the hidden systems that people use and abuse to gather power for themselves, and also of the powerless who suffer at their hands. You had to discuss power through the human cost rather than through the lens of people at the top.

Robert Caro “We ignore the powerless at our own peril”

https://medium.com/matter/means-of-descent-ada5e2af6a4d

NATIONAL POWER

“I say if Rome was power and Greece was glory, what New York was was a home to the world. We took in the Italians, we took in the Jews, we took in the Irish; now there are 167 languages being spoken in Queens. That’s because they could create their communities here. But the very idea, and concept behind Hudson Yards and these towers, is that nobody is zoning it so you have small stores on the ground floor. Did you see Fiddler on the Roof? I wanted to put a line in “The Power Broker” from the song “Anatevka” that says “where I know everyone I meet.” And that’s so precious and rare in the city now.

“The Power Broker” by Robert Caro began as a small character study of the Machiavellian city planner Robert Moses  the idea of someone wrangling outsized power without proper checks and balances.

City Planning Commissioner Robert Moses chairman of the Triborough Authority and the Henry Hudson Authority and the Bethpage State Park Authority and the Jones Beach Authority. Public authority as the source of political power. “It sells bonds and collects tolls to build a bridge, then goes out of business.”

Moses was such a genius, that he got to the heart of what power was in cities. If you can explain how he did it, which no one had ever done before him, you would be explaining something nobody knows about how power works — not just in New York, but in all cities.

Everything is based on this feeling that in a democracy power comes from the voters, being elected.

But here was a guy who was never elected to anything. A guy who had more power than anyone who was elected, more power than any mayor, more power than any governor, more power than any mayors or governors combined. And he had had this power for 44 years, and with it, had built everything!

And I said to myself: You, who are supposed to know something about political power, have not the faintest idea about how it works, and apparently neither does anybody else.

You have to deal with the powerless.

You couldn’t just write about how power works, you had to write about its effect on people who didn’t have power, both for good and for ill.

“I really read The Power Broker, so I am in student government and I asked to be the chairman of the bylaws committee.” And I said, “Oh, he got it!”

The Best Ways to Contact Your Congress People, From a Former Staffer
http://lifehacker.com/the-best-ways-to-contact-your-congress-people-from-a-f-1788990839

Donald Trump Conflicts of Interest
There is no blind trust.
There are no laws that apply to the President or Vice President
Business: Hotels, Deutche Bank loans , His Children, State Craft,

 

Posted in NetHappenings

Thanksgiving Interdisciplinary Thematic Unit

POST ELECTION HEALING AT THE THANKSGIVING DINNER TABLE FOR ALL AMERICANS

Crossing the “triviality barrier,” that is, understanding and explaining why studying folklore is important, not just entertainment. “Triviality barrier” was coined by Brian Sutton-Smith in a 1970 article, “Psychology of Childlore” in _Western Folklore_.)

NOTHING IN CULTURE IS TRIVIAL

NOTHING IN CULTURE IS TRIVIAL

NOTHING IN CULTURE IS TRIVIAL

ignorance

Nothing in culture is trivial – studying folklore involves understanding the meaning and significance of everyday commonplace things, words, etc.

Every project must answer:

  1. What is its significance?
  2.  What is its relevance?
  3. What is the impact of having studied/produced it?

No one has to justify studying math, history, and science. Folklore gives insight into our humanity. Those studies have enriched mankind for generations. Studying folklore not only allows intellectual pursuit it documents society and allows for benchmarks as civilization moves from one point to the next in its own crazy path. It rescues procedures / art / lifestyle that would otherwise be lost.

What the study of folklore can bring to a child or anyone:

  1. new ways of communicating
  2. cultures other than our own
  3. our own culture/traditions
  4. expression of feelings or ideas
  5.  learning problem solving techniques

Music:

Grandma What Are You Cooking For Thanksgiving? Caesar originally recorded the song in 1988.

Shirley Caesar won’t be cooking “beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes” at Thanksgiving this year.  by MESFIN FEKADU

The legendary gospel singer, who is enjoying viral success with a remix of one of her sermon-songs featuring a line referencing food items, says she’s not cooking this year during the U.S. holiday. “I ain’t cooking nothing,” 79-year-old Caesar said with a laugh in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Friday. “Absolutely zilch.”

The Grammy-winning singer has become a hot topic online after her song, the 9-minute “Hold My Mule,” was re-created with a new addictive beat. On the song, Caesar tells the story of “Shouting John,” who is told he is too loud and cannot dance in church because of his excitement. But Caesar later sings in a live version of the song that John fires back, explaining that God created this land and he’s been blessed with “beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lambs, rams, hogs, dogs, chicken, turkeys, rabbits. You name it!”

 

THANKSGIVING TURKEY RECIPE FROM THE FIRST NATION AMERICAN INDIANS AND EVERY STATE. 

FIND POTLATCH – The Tradition of Giving / Sharing
Share a Meal  Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Fresh Tarragon
Potlatch is a very famous cultural practice studied by ethnographers. “Potlatch is a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North pacific Coast of North America, including the Salish and Kwakiutl of Washington and British Columbia.” Sponsors of potlatch give away many useful items such as food, blankets, pieces of copper, and many other various items.”

FIND THE IROQUOIS THANKSGIVING BLESSING
“Ohenton Kariwahtekwen” Greetings to the Natural World

WOODY GUTHRIE THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND

Pete Seeger said June 1967
When Woody Guthrie was singing hillbilly songs on a little Los Angeles radio station in the late 1930s, he used to mail out a small mimeographed songbook to listeners who wanted the words to his songs, On the bottom of one page appeared the following:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Definition “poor folkist”. . .

Woody Guthrie’s “poor folkist” term, coined in his letter to Stetson Kennedy was using the common vernacular and everyday wisdom to move folks emotionally and politically. You may assume the stress is on the first word (“poor folkist”), implying that the concern is for “poor folk,” and aligning the folklorist whose subject was “poor folk” with socialist and communists and other left “ists.” Or, that “folkist” may on occasion have been a pun for “focused”– potentially an ironic comment on the more formally-driven folklorists and political theorists in his midst.

Web Resources for Integrated Thematic Teaching

 

Posted in NetHappenings

Gainful Employment – Frequently Asked Questions

The Obama Administration has worked to protect students and taxpayers, through gainful employment regulations (see below) to stop the flow of federal funds to poor-performing career college programs; strengthening state authorization requirements; defining the credit hour; safeguarding students from bad actor institutions and holding financially risky institutions accountable under the newly published borrower defense rule; and increasing rigor in accreditation processes.

GRADUATE EARNINGS DATA

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help students make more informed decisions about where to enroll for postsecondary education and to protect students from career training programs with poor outcomes, the Department released earnings data for career college programs.  The data represents the mean and median earnings of graduates of career college programs, reported by the Social Security Administration under the gainful employment regulations.  Roughly 3,700 institutions nationwide offer career training programs subject to the regulations.

The data shows that graduates of career training programs at public institutions generally fare better than those of comparable programs at for-profit colleges.  Highlights include:

  • overall, mean earnings of graduates from public undergraduate certificate programs are nearly $9,000 higher than mean earnings of graduates of for-profit undergraduate certificate programs;
  • graduates of certificate programs at public institutions are more likely to have attended programs that provide training for higher earning fields — such as nursing — than graduates of certificate programs at for-profit colleges; and
  • nearly a third (32%) of for-profit certificate students graduated from programs where the typical graduate earned less than what a full-time minimum wage worker earns in a year ($14,500), compared with only 14% in the public sector.

 

This data will be used to calculate debt-to-earnings rates that will determine whether a career college program is serving students well or leaving them with poor employment prospects and unaffordable debt.

Consistently low-performing programs that fail to improve their quality will be barred from participating in federal student aid programs.  Starting in January 2017, institutions must disclose to current and prospective students program earnings and other information, such as costs and graduation rates, as well as whether their programs are failing to meet the gainful employment standards.

https://ifap.ed.gov/GainfulEmploymentInfo/2011GEFAQ.html#General

Gainful Employment Information

Generally, in order to be eligible for funding under the Higher Education Act Title IV student assistance programs, an educational program must lead to a degree at a non-profit or public school or it must prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” With very few exceptions, all educational programs offered at for-profit institutions must lead to gainful employment (GE) in a recognized occupation.

Under 34 CFR 668.404(c) of the GE regulations, the Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates and returns to the Department the mean and median annual earnings of a cohort of students who completed the GE program during a specified cohort period.

At least 10 completers from a program must be matched for SSA to return mean and median earnings information. In calculating a GE program’s Debt to Earnings rates, the Department uses the higher of the SSA-reported mean or median earnings. SSA does not provide the Department individual earnings data or the identity of any students.

Earnings data from the 2014 calendar year is available for informational purposes only. Information on the earnings data spreadsheet includes OPEID and institution name, program identifiers (Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code, credential level, and CIP code program name), the number of completers matched with earnings data by SSA, along with both the median and mean SSA earnings for the GE program.

You can also access the 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rate data. These data were prepared to provide institutions and the Department with preliminary information about the performance of institutions’ gainful employment programs based on the 2011 Gainful Employment regulations, which have since been vacated. The Department will provide final GE Debt-to-Earnings Rates, based on the calculations in the 2014 regulations, in January 2017. Access the archived 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rate Downloadable Spreadsheet.

Information About the Gainful Employment Downloadable Spreadsheet

The 2011 Gainful Employment Downloadable Spreadsheet provides the public with information about educational programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE Program). Under the regulations that go into effect on July 1, 2012, the US Department of Education calculates metrics for GE Programs each year. These metrics include a Repayment Rate, two Debt-to-Earnings Ratios, and three student loan medians.

The 2011 GE Informational Rate information included on the downloadable spreadsheet was produced for the purpose of providing institutions with preliminary information they can use to assess their GE Programs in preparation for the official gainful employment metrics that will first be calculated in 2013. These FY 2011 GE Informational Rates are for informational purposes only and, as such, do not invoke any regulatory requirements, sanctions, or other adverse action. These informational rates were prepared in advance of the years in which programs that fail the debt measures will be required to provide debt warnings and may lose eligibility after failing three out of four consecutive years.

The 2011 GE Informational Rates were not calculated for a GE Program if the program had 30 or fewer former students in the relevant two-year period. Beginning next year, official gainful employment debt measures will include small programs using a four-year period if that four-year period results in more than 30 former students for the GE Program.

After publishing the informational rates, the Department determined that the posted “Median Title IV Loans” amount reflected student debt information from the most recent loan award year, but did not include debt information from previous years. On October 25, 2012, the Department posted an updated spreadsheet. Column V reflects the median loan debt over the course of enrollment in a program. Column W reflects the one-year median loan debt. The Median Private Loans, Median Institutional Loans, and Median Title IV Loans were calculated for disclosure purposes and are NOT the medians that were used in the Repayment Rate or Debt-to-Earnings Ratio calculations.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rates were prepared to provide institutions with preliminary data about the performance of their GE Programs. The calculation of the 2011 Gainful Employment Informational Rates did not include a process for institutions to receive draft debt measures and to submit challenges, as the institutions will for official rate calculations. For these reasons, the 2011 Informational Rates are not intended to form a basis for making any general or specific assumptions or determinations about specific GE Programs, or in making projections about future years’ rates.

 

These Frequently Asked Questions provide information and operational guidance on the requirements of the new gainful employment regulations. Institutions must review the final regulations as published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2010, to ensure that they are in compliance with all of the GE Program requirements.

https://ifap.ed.gov/GainfulEmploymentInfo/2011GEFAQ.html#General

The listing of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated periodically and include the date of the update. New and/or updated questions and answers will be marked NEW and appear in red font. If you have questions that have not been addressed, please submit them to the GE Questions mailbox at GE-Questions@ed.gov and include the name of the institution.

Posted in NetHappenings

Kids Win the Right to Sue the US Government Over Climate Change

Kids Win the Right to Sue the US Government Over Climate Change

By Sarah Emerson
Nov 11 2016
A bright speck of climate news was quickly overshadowed by the presidential election this week—America’s children have officially won the right to sue their government over global warming.

Yesterday, a lawsuit filed by 21 youth plaintiffs was ruled valid by US District Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon. A group of citizens, whose ages range from nine to 20, charged President Obama, the fossil fuel industry, and other federal agencies with violating their constitutional rights by declining to take action against climate change.

“Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it,” wrote Judge Aiken in her ruling.

Along with renowned climate scientist James Hansen, who in 1988 pleaded with Congress to consider the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the youth group was applauded by activists who saw their lawsuit as a much-needed beacon of hope for future generations. In it, the plaintiffs accused the US government and energy trade industries of endangering their rights to life, liberty, property, and to vital public trust resources.

In 2015, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and the American Petroleum Institute (API), along with the US government, motioned for the case to be thrown out before US Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin. Their opposition was based on a “lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.” Judge Coffin rejected their motion, although the defendants appealed, and was later succeeded by Judge Aikin after his retirement.

[snip]
Posted in NetHappenings